• Tom

With the AfD making gains, is it the 16th century all over again?

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

By Amy Nicholas


Particularly apt amid an era of populism, anti-elitism and political polarisation, as evidenced by the political gains made by the AfD in Bavaria in October, is this sharp comparison to the 15th and early 16th century by journalist Sebastian Dümling, arguing today’s events have an early modern counterpart. Between 1475 and 1510 the political mood in ‘Germany’ was similarly tense: self-proclaimed prophets and preachers travelled through the cities to denounce the aristocratic, the elites and the church. The preachers accused these groups of no longer representing the common people (“das einfache Volk”). Certainly, this sense of disillusionment and rising anger against the established order and political elites are themes that can be seen in Germany today.

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